Royal Caribbean looks to Oct re­launch

Cruise Weekly - - Front Page -

ROYAL Caribbean In­ter­na­tional be­lieves there is a pos­si­b­lity of recom­menc­ing op­er­a­tions in Aus­tralia within the next two months, ac­cord­ing to the brand’s Pres­i­dent & Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Michael Bayley.

Speak­ing to in­vestors fol­low­ing the sec­ond quar­ter earn­ings an­nounce­ment of par­ent com­pany Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), Bayley noted the com­pany’s sail­ings are cur­rently sus­pended across the globe, with po­ten­tial for China and Aus­tralia to be first for a restart.

“It may well be pos­si­ble that we’ll re­sume op­er­a­tions in China, and po­ten­tially Aus­tralia, be­fore the end of Oct but it’s un­cer­tain,” Bayley said.

“I’m not mak­ing any state­ments that’s go­ing to hap­pen, but there’s some pos­si­bil­ity.”

Bayley also sug­gested Royal Caribbean was con­sid­er­ing com­pul­sory COVID-19 swab test­ing for all pas­sen­gers prior to em­barka­tion in some mar­kets.

“Test­ing seems to be very rel­e­vant and dis­cus­sions are un­der way,” he said, adding it was too early to re­lease fur­ther info.

How­ever “par­tic­u­larly as it re­lates to the Caribbean, that test­ing is very much at the front of how peo­ple are think­ing of pro­to­cols for re­turn­ing,” Bayley added.

The com­ments about an Aus­tralian recom­mence­ment came as the group re­ported a US$1.6 bil­lion net loss for the three months to 30 Jun.

Royal Caribbean Group is cur­rently burn­ing be­tween US$250 mil­lion and US$290 mil­lion in cash per month while op­er­a­tions are sus­pended, and is “con­sid­er­ing ways to fur­ther re­duce its av­er­age monthly cash burn un­der a fur­ther pro­longed out-of-ser­vice sce­nario and dur­ing restart of op­er­a­tions”.

RCG Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Richard Fain noted the im­pact COVID-19 was hav­ing on ship­yard op­er­a­tions, which will re­sult in de­liv­ery de­lays for a num­ber of new­builds.

How­ever Sil­versea’s Sil­ver Moon will still ar­rive this year, fol­lowed by Royal Caribbean In­ter­na­tional’s Odyssey of the Seas in the first quar­ter of 2021 and Sil­versea’s Sil­ver Dawn in 2021.

Other ships pre­vi­ously sched­uled for de­liv­ery next year, in­clud­ing Won­der of the Seas and Celebrity Beyond, are now ex­pected to ar­rive in 2022.

“The COVID-19 pan­demic is pos­ing an un­prece­dented chal­lenge to our in­dus­try and so­ci­ety,” Fain said.

“Our teams are work­ing tire­lessly to re­turn to ser­vice soon­est and do­ing so by de­vel­op­ing new health and safety pro­to­cols.”

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